The Eastern Seaboard, Thailand’s Riviera
In terms of development, we could say that during the last years, the East coast of Thailand has undergone one of the most impressive and greatest changes in the country, with the only exception of Bangkok, a city as no other in Thailand. The East coast, where Pattaya city is located, keeps growing and growing.
What was a tranquil coastline, now shows modern, dynamic beach resorts, and if you go a little bit towards east, leaving the sea behind, several industrial states started to mushroom. Also, in terms of infrastructure, not so far from Pattaya city , at the south east of Bangkok, in 2006 was officially open for domestic and international flights Suvarnabhumi International Airport of Thailand what meant a strong push for the East Coast development, clearly translated in the peak of Pattaya’s real state market and the improvement of the hospitality sector.
Facing the gulf of Thailand and forming and angled corner reaching 500 kilometrs (300 miles) from the mouth of the Chao Phraya river to the Cambodian border, the East Coast boasts several fine beaches which, along with offshore islands, make it a natural choice for beach resorts.
The oldest of these, Bang Saen, remains popular among local weekend trippers from Bangkok, but it is nearby Pattaya that had blossomed into an international playground, only to become a victim of its own success, in some way, suffering from a extraordinary over-building and poorly planned infrastructure. Quieter resorts are found along the coast in Rayong province and on the island of Koh Samet, just off Rayong city.
If tourism first put the East Coast on the map, more recent fame and prosperity are resulting from the Eastern Seaboard Development Programme, a massive undertaking involving two large industrial states and attendant deep-sea ports, as Laem Chabang and Rayong. Fuelled by natural gas from the Gulf, this zone has become a center for Thailand’s expanding petroleum products and petrochemical industries as in Laem Chabang and Ma ta Phut industrial States.
Away from the coast, the region’s principal cities, Chonburi and Rayong, are unremarkable if you see them from the touristic point of view, or as an alternative for expats to live , but are bustling provincial centers. An exception is Chantaburi, a historic and intriguing city that boats Thailand’s largest Catholic cathedral, the church of Immaculate Conception.
Chantaburi is also a center for trade in the gems, especially rubies and saphires, mined in the surrounding countryside and in neighbouring Trat province. A booming business in the 1980s, the gem market has slowed of late, although quality stones from Cambodia continue to attract dealers.
Chantaburi and Trat are also renowned for other more obvious fruits of the earth, the countryside producing a wide variety of fresh produce including three of Thailand’s most exotic fruits: durian, mangosteen and rambutan. Set against a backdrop of lush green hills, this south-eastern corner is an extremely attractive area with plantations and orchards complementing a natural landscape of considerable beauty.
Last , but not at least, along the East Coast, is Koh Chang, Thailand’s third largest island, after Phuket and Samui, and characterized by a hinterland of densely forested hills fringed by some superb beaches and coves. Koh Chang, along with other islands in the archipelago, has been designated a marine national park.
As we have said, the content of this page is the result of our research plus some comments of our own. We gathered and put together interesting information that we thought it would be of help,that we had found while reading the books listed below or visiting the websites which are also included in the list. So you could find all this information and more, reading:
- Insight Guides- Southeast Asia, by Discovery Channel
- This is Thailand, by John Hoskin, Gerald Cubitt
- The Wonder of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Ang Thong Maritime National Park, by Mark Standen
Or visiting these websites:
We just hope that you had enjoyed reading this page, and that we had being of help. If you have some comment, please, lets know. In this way, we would be able to keep linking Pattaya together